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Do I Need a Will?

Yes, because if you die with no valid Will in England or Wales the law will decide who gets what.

Why on earth won't people make a Will?


There are many reasons given for putting off making a Will. Many people simply do not want to think about it. To them it means thinking about death. Some people think that it is too expensive. Some say they do not know where to get one written. Many people believe that they do not own enough to warrant making a Will and that everything will go to their partner anyway. Many people believe they are too young to even consider it.


Why everyone should have a Will, and why have so few people got one?


Well, if you do not make a Will of your own, the Government, way back in 1925, made a Will for you. It's called the Rules of Intestacy and it's what will happen to all you possess if you haven't made a Will and it's not always what you and your loved ones expect or desire.


When someone dies intestate the family and loved ones can face serious problems. Depending on the value of your estate it could mean that your spouse could suffer financially and may not receive everything, especially if you have children.


If you are living with a partner but are not married, it is important to realise that there is no such thing as a common law wife or husband and no matter how long you have been together your partner will not normally inherit. So your actual next of kin could force your partner out of the home.


If you have children and do not appoint a guardian for them in your Will, if they were left orphaned there would be no one in their family legally able to look after them, to sign medical consent forms for them, to care for them. If a member of your family took them to live with them, they would be classed as private foster carers and be subject to inspections by Social Services.


To overcome the above problems, a will is needed, whatever your age.


Within your Will you can:


  • Make sure that your loved ones receive all of the money and property you want them to receive.

  • Make sure that your partner can stay in your house and receive whatever inheritance you wish to leave them.

  • Reduce the amount of inheritance tax paid.

  • Possibly mitigate care home costs

  • Appoint a guardian to care for your children if they were orphaned.

  • Give particular items or keepsakes of sentimental or financial value to named people, though this may not always be best done within the will.

  • Donate money to charity.

  • Give instructions whether you would like to be buried or cremated.

  • Make sure that your children inherit even if your spouse re-marries.

  • Provide for a disabled person in a way that will not affect their benefits and will not put them at risk of being taken advantage.

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